On 9 November 2023, the Senate referred the following matters to the Environment and Communications References Committee for inquiry and report by 9 December 2023:
The Optus network outage that occurred on 8 November 2023 and its impact on Australians and the services that they rely on, with particular reference to:
- the communication from Optus to affected customers;
- the steps that Optus is taking to ensure that this does not happen again;
- the compensation offered to affected customers, including:
- compensation offered by Optus,
- the role of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and its compensation scheme, and
- actions taken by the Federal Government to support affected customers to receive fair compensation;
- the role of government in ensuring Australians have reliable access to telecommunications technology;
- steps taken by the Federal Government to ensure the access to essential service in response to the outage, including:
- identification of affected government services,
- the establishment of alternative contact arrangements for affected government services, and
- communication with Australians on those alternative arrangements; and
- actions taken by the Federal Government and the Australian Communications and Media Authority on the day of the outage; and
- any other related matters.
The committee called for written submissions by 17 November 2023.
On 04 December 2023, the committee was granted an extension of time for the report until 28 February 2024.
For this inquiry, the preferred contact number for the committee secretariat is +61 2 6277 3278.